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A Girl I Knew In the First 3 Months: Writing about Cheng Huimei She was unlike all the normal,

typical teenage girl stereotypes; you could not f it her into a model, a cast. Her thoughts, actions and words are weird, but if y ou know her a little deeper, they might well make good perfect sense to you. Spe cial is not apt to describe her, in fact, abnormal would be a more appropriate w ord. Somehow, this strange girl draws me into her world of the first 3 months in SAJC, just like a wanderer absorbed in the realms of her explorations. She was brimming with lofty ideals and aspirations. SAJC was clearly never meant for a maverick like her, with intelligence to boot. Raffles, Hwa Chong (not eve n National) were held dearer to her heart than laid-back, crumbling and no-futur e St. Andrews. This girl clearly knew where she was headed for; and she made sure of it the first day she stepped into school. When she entered the compressed, l ittle classroom, faced with new classmates all waiting, eager to forge relations hips and scatter the dust of friendship, she coolly kept a discreet yet tellingl y noticeable distance from them. Her eyes darted all around the chairs and table s, her mind working furiously away on which spot would be the best to snag so th at it would prevent the situation of polite conversations. She finally landed he rself on the front row, only her, while the rest of the class sat the entire row behind her. What attracted me was the fact that she was not awkward for a singl e moment, in fact was nonchalant about the whole affair. Her attitude cut across at once, that of a haughty, arrogant cat prancing on the window-sill, as the li tter of puppies jumped clueless on the ground below, trying to reach for the cat . An unknowing victim, I arrived in class late and was proposed with an only choic e of the seat beside hers. How fortunate was I, I screamed aloud in my heart, fo r at least the person beside me was someone from my alma-mater, and it would mak e conversation a little less stilted. I soon realized she was not disposed to li ght, comfortable, on-the-surface discourse, making this girl seem subdued, even morose. I was often led to believe that I was a bore, and my inane attempts at t rying to inject lively atmosphere into talking is likened to someone making a pu blic spectacle of herself. Yes, it was frustrating and indeed not easy to be fri ends with such a person, but the tales she provides draws you back, like an ench anting spell, and the supposed friendship with her that you formed at the back of your head would make you feel guilty, if you abandoned her just like that. In th e end, her influence has made me back away from my class, I hardly attempted to bond with classmates with her around, and she made it seem as if ignoring people you know was absolutely fine and you didnt have to try any harder at all in main taining relationships. So, two outcasts is better than one (at least theres compa nionship); but even up till this day, I am still wondering if I was a willing/ u nwilling victim/friend. This attitude of hers only serves as a harbinger of more that is to come. Indeed , she once said that all the interesting and exciting things that have surrounde d us and her during these first 3 months were good enough to be penned down into a book. Inspired by these exact words spoken near an RJC bus-stop and a moments out of the spur, Ill make an attempt to imprint these memories. We skipped school for most days. Besides, it was meant to be a honeymoon period, as the principal has rightfully told us. Nothing in St. Andrews captured her per manent attention; perhaps an occasional good-looking senior who looks like a car bon-copy of a Japanese comic character. She developed a few crushes too, one whi ch would stay in her heart throughout the year. His name was Vince (name has und ergone alteration), and he was not distinctly attractive in any way. Put him in a lecture theatre filled with students and he would never stand out. Frankly spe aking, no amounts of second glances were enough to recall him to memory. That wa s how easily forgettable he was. Yet, it was in the lecture theatre, while a bor ing lecture on even boring-er Partial Fractions (I think) was being conducted, t

hat she excitedly pointed out this new-found crush, out of the vast sea of faces . Perhaps it was the Anglo-Chinese uniform that worked its charm (there were not many baggy-blue-and-white guys around here), or maybe you can give credit for h er always uniquely different taste, for no one could ever comprehend how this gu y took his hold on her heart. Reserved critics like me would mention he is ordinary and plain-looking (maybe e ven dull), her overseas pal (after looking at his photo), said he had an oily fa ce with a high possibility of an acne outbreak and her sister said outright that he was no more than an ugly toad. These criticisms left her exasperated, but al l the more indignant that this guy was worthy and all of a good catch. With each visit of a different junior college (we call it gate-crashing), her ey e-candy was proliferating. However, Vince always edged out a little more with ti ny bits of information gathered about him from his outside peers. First, she che cked out his name, then knew he was from Hong Kong, even the gossip that he had a girlfriend whom he has broken up with since. Anything about him was most welco me to reach her ears. She barged into my house to make sushi for him, and I supp ose it was her first foray at picking up some culinary skills, because she was h onestly bad at it, then hesitated whether to give it to him. With prodigious per suasion and prodding, she meekly wrapped the sushi neatly in a quaint, ornate ha ndkerchief and put it in his class pigeon-hole. On it was a note card with his n ame, but with no mention of who the sender was. We all called her, mei you zhong. This was a girl who had wrote poems on death, stalked strangers in Orchard Road, blatantly arriving late on every school-going occasion and on several occasions , when she was late again and the Nanyang side-gate was locked, she made no qual ms about heading home straightaway. Yet, this girl who seemed to fear no heights nor grounds dares not face the crush of her life and tell him her feelings stra ight, which at once would make all her fears, uneasiness and enigmatic feeling d issolve on the spot. So, together with her, I spent some of the most traumatic (yet not totally regre ttable) days of my life. These particular scenes etched in my memory. While wait ing at the RJC bus-stop, she was talking about who-else-but-him again, when Vinc e walked along across our road, right in front of our eyes. I gawked, but she se emed to take the coincidence quite calmly. Quick, hes going into McDonalds. Lets stalk him! No, for what? Unless youre going to make conversation, or else Just buy something. Go, go! I thought you were thirsty? This whole episode subsided into a no-tale, a sequel did not occur. As always. And once, again at a bus-stop in Orchard, she had boarded the bus home, leaving me waiting for mine. He walked up again, this time happily chatting with a girl in their comfortable Cantonese. Ooh, attached! What a pity. I thought nonchalantly , for the same coincidence that happened twice was not going to arouse feelings of surprise(!) in me anymore. Now, reflecting upon these, it seemed that the ball always remained in her court , and she never threw the ball out. I always suspected that Vince was just a pha se to keep her occupied, distracted from the boredom that the drudgery of school subjects us to, and her insanity was just an outlet to vent her bursting emotio ns. She would never tell him, or rather bear to, sacrifice this saccharine, self -savory confession for an ending that was unknown, and always take a turn for th e worst (as she often preached).

We are separated now; I still remain in trusty, old SAJC, while she has indeed f ulfilled her Raffles dream and inherited the Raffles lineage. The same, old her seems not to have catch the mugging fever in Raffles however, as she continues w ith her wilful ways of skipping school whenever she feels like it and with more embarrassing incidents during the sessions of her compulsory CCA, fencing. To to p it off, she never fails to impress me with tidbits of Vinces present life, comi ng from dubious, unverified sources. Although the destiny of the two are still i nconclusive, hopefully my most sincere blessings of them turning a couple will m ove the deities above and grant it come true. With an incredulous amount of time spent on spying Vince and escaping the clutch es of school, she has miraculously scraped through the promotional exams to land herself only one more year (not two, fortunately) of indoctrination at Raffles. And this weird girl will unsurprisingly, amaze and amuse me at the same time wi th her crazy antics, as always. Afternote: The writer is 17 and this is her first piece of serious writing. She hopes to da bble in more styles and subjects in her writing in future, though she is unsure if her laziness and laxness will allow that to happen. She wrote this in about 2 hours and 28 minutes, spread over a period of 2 days. She chose to write about someones first 3 months because Christmas is coming and she hopes to give a Chris tmas present to this particular girl. Not desiring to meet up, too lazy to do an ything else, and with an ingenious stroke of inspiration, she much preferred to do this. And to the person whom this piece of writing is dedicated to, enjoy!